One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chaste tree, Vitex agnus-castus (family Verbenaceae); (also) any of various parts of this plant used medicinally; also called agnus castus.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Florio (1553–1625), author and teacher of languages. Apparently from the genitive of Abraham + balm; perhaps compare German Abrahamsbaum chaste tree, lit. ‘Abraham's tree’, although the semantic motivation of either the English or the German word is unclear.
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